Sri Lankan stocks fall 1.49-pct

Aug 05, 2010 (LBO) – Sri Lankan stocks fell Thursday as investors backed-off after the market regulator slapped a 10 percent upward and downward price band on all listed securities, while PC House’s Initial Public Offer was oversubscribed, brokers said.

The All Share Price Index closed at 5,137.38, down 77.46 points, while the Milanka index of more liquid stocks slid 1.27 percent (75.34 points) to close at 5,839.13, according to stock exchange provisional figures.

Turnover was 1.91 billion rupees, according to provisional statistics on the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) website.

The CSE has said heavy trading had delayed market updates on its website.

The implementation of the 10 percent upward and downward price band pushed the market down, brokers said.

The move followed unusual price swings and heavy trading in certain stocks, whose trading was suspended by the markets regulator earlier this week.

The price band will be applied on the previous day’s closing price, but excludes the first trading day on any security, stakes offered on all or nothing basis, crossings, debentures and securities where the previous closing price is below one rupee.

Imposing a price band is not a bad idea but should be implemented separately at different rates for blue chips, midcaps and penny stocks, a market expert said.

Market regulator Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) lifted the trade halt on Environmental Resources Investments (ERI) warrants, Dankotuwa Porcelain and Blue Diamonds voting and non-voting shares.

ERI normal shares closed at 115.30 rupees, down 10.20 (8.13 percent) with 1.58 million shares traded, while its Warrants 0001 closed at 96.60 rupees, down 8.65 (8.22 percent) and W0002 closed at 64.40 rupees, down 7.10 (9.93 percent) with 1.1 million shares changing hands.

ERI’s W0003 closed at 61.20 rupees, down 6.80 (10 percent) with 1.16 million shares traded and W0006 closed at 61.50 rupees, down 6.75 (9.89 percent) with 697,600 shares traded.

Dankotuwa Porcelain closed at 111.40 rupees, down 12.35 (9.98 percent) with 18,900 shares traded.

Blue Diamonds Jewellery Worldwide normal shares closed at 9.00 rupees, down 1.00 (10 percent) with 12,400 shares traded, while it’s non-voting shares closed at 4.50 rupees, down 40 cents (8.16 percent) with 225,900 shares changing hands, brokers said.

Aitken Spence closed at 1,911.40 rupees, down 30.85 rupees, Hayleys closed at 309.70 rupees, down 5.70, Hemas Holdings closed flat at 40.00 rupees and John Keells Holdings, an index heavy stock closed at 257.80 rupees, down 2.20.

The IPO of computer retailer PC House was oversubscribed on the opening day, brokers said.

PC House is raising 630 million rupees by selling 57 million shares at 11 rupees each to retire some short-term expensive debt, open a 100 seat business processing centre in Jaffna, a former war ravaged northern town and expand its branch network.